National Parks 2014
Collected by Fiona Millar
Happy Isles, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Despite being steep, often wet, and sometimes dangerous, the Mist Trail is Yosemite’s hallmark hike, with breathtaking views of the valley and two waterfalls. Be warned, though, that it’s called the Mist Trail for a reason: Much of the...
Yosemite National Park, 1 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Formerly the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, this stone-and-timber lodge—arguably the finest example of U.S. “Parkitecture”—has hosted such luminaries as John F. Kennedy, the queen of Nepal, Lucille Ball, and Brad Pitt. Its grand...
Mariposa Grove, California 93623, USA
My husband and I enjoyed a pleasant hike among the sequoias and pines at Mariposa Grove in the southern portion of Yosemite. Head out early to avoid the crowds who hit this popular spot to see the 2,700-year-old Grizzly Giant sequoia in the Lower...
Glacier Point Rd, Yosemite Valley, CA 95389, USA
Located 3,200 feet above Half Dome Village, Glacier Point offers some of the best views in the park to the high country beyond. The View Terrace looks out to Half Dome, Vernal Fall, and Nevada Fall as well as Liberty Cap to the east, while the...
Yosemite Valley, California, USA
This eight-mile-long, one-mile-wide valley, sliced down the middle by the Merced River, is the heart of Yosemite and by far the most-visited area of the park. Of the three entrances to the valley, none affords a more spectacular first view than...
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort zone – it’s more of a...
Marble Canyon, AZ 86036, USA
Bordered on the south by its eponymous deep-red cliffs, the national monument is home to broad plateaus, endangered California condors, and some of the oldest petroglyphs in the United States. But the area’s greatest hit is the Wave, a dramatic,...
White Pocket, Arizona 86036, USA
Didn't get your permit to see The Wave? Have no fear. You can have the same experience (some say better) at White Pocket, part of South Coyote Buttes. Although you do need a permit, you don't need to win the lottery to do it and the experience is...
78-6772 Makenawai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
For a rare and wonderfully crafted chocolate experience on the Big Island, visitors who book a tour of the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Farm will learn about the chocolate making process from growing and harvesting to packaging. Only offered on...
Waipio Valley, Hawaii 96727, USA
Seeing the Big Island by air will have you sitting on the edge your seat anticipating what will turn up around the next mountain or valley. Waipio Valley, one of the most beautiful areas on the Island, is best seen from the air to really get a...
88-2636 Papa Homestead Rd, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
For a different view of coffee, visit the Big Island in February and March when the coffee plants are blossoming in white. Called Kona "snow" by some, the plants are covered with the beautiful white flowers that precede the arrival of the valuable...
Kalapana - Kapoho Rd, Pāhoa, HI 96778, USA
Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. Her power still holds the imagination of people in Hawaii today as legends suggest that taking rocks from her home on the island of Hawaii will lead to bad luck. She is said to...
Kīlauea Crater, Hawaii 96778, USA
The highlight of Volcanoes National Park is the Kilauea Crater. Nothing beats seeing the glow from the active crater at night—well, maybe the prospect of seeing a new explosive eruption. There are a couple of other lava flow viewing areas in the...
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA
For those seeking an education about the Hawaiian volcanoes, the Volcanoes National Park Visitors Center and Jaggar Museum have helpful staff and interesting visuals and maps. Visitors can see before and after photos, see maps of volcanic activity...
Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii 96778, USA
There are numerous sites to explore within Volcanoes National Park, but the Thurston Lava Tube is certainly one of the most dramatic. Located at stop #6, exploring the tube is an easy half-hour walk to and through the extinct lava conduit.
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